Calvin R. Finch, Ph.D., Conservation Director, San Antonio Water System,
Week of August 27, 2001
Q. The pecans are dropping from my tree this summer. Is there anything we can do?
A. Pecans are usually alternate bearing in a home lawn situation. If conditions are right during the on year, they will set many more nuts than they can support. This spring was ideal, but the droughty weather since June has resulted in self-pruning of leaves, nuts and, unfortunately, even branches. One deep watering per month on the dripline will help the tree support and fill the remaining nuts.
Q. I know what stinkbug hits are on pecans, but these have deep black holes. Do birds peck pecans?
A. Yes, grackles and other birds will peck into pecans during the water stage of development to obtain water. Thee is not much you can do and the damage is usually minor in terms of the total crop.
Q. Which is best, Finale or Round-up?
A. Both work well to kill any green plants with which they come in contact. I use the one that is least expensive.
Q. Why is Jamur zoysia so much cheaper than El Toro? They look the same to me. Is El Toro better?
A. I agree with you that they both look good and are easy to care for. Jamur may be the better buy because they advertised less and demand is less. Both Jamur and El Toro are excellent choices for South and Central Texas.
Q. We listen to your radio show and we also listen to some of the other shows. You and Jerry Parsons say it is not too late to plant tomatoes, but some of the others disagree. Why the differences?
A. My colleague Jerry Parsons would say it is because they do not know what they are talking about! Fall tomato success is greatly dependent on weather. The earlier you can get them in the ground after late July, the better; but, if the weather cooperates, fast-maturing varieties like Surefire, Sun Master and Heat Wave planted in August will mature fruit before cold weather arrives.